Wearing some twenty shoe and boot pairs out, I hiked more than 15 000 kilometers and developed an intimate relationship with nature. During these years, I had the chance to appreciate the benefits of nature on the soul and the mind.
In 2017, I heard the On the Tip of the Toes foundation’s general manager, Jean-Charles Fortin, giving an interview on the radio, and explaining their mission. I decided to contact the foundation, and to offer some of my time as a volunteer.
Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to take part in the Getaway Expeditions each fall. I got to meet youth affected by cancer, some still undergoing treatments, showing great courage and incredible resilience throughout their life. When I was younger, way younger, after many years of hard training, I had the honor to represent our country at the Olympics as a member of the Canadian rowing team. Nowadays, my role models aren’t Olympians or exceptional athletes. I’m rather inspired by these youth and their capacity to put small and bigger problems into perspective.
In addition to my involvement in the Getaway Expeditions, I like to speak about the foundation when I give conferences.
As I realize that we ignore what’s coming, they also inspired me new “bucket liste” projects: the Great Divide Trail in the Canadian Rockies (1250 km) and the Via Alpina, a trail surrounding the Italian Alps, as well as a project that would connect a few Argentinian national parks, and…
Will I realize all of these projects? I don’t know, but I’m walking towards it. My motto, borrowed from an old ad: “ Life is short, play hard”.
Louis-Étienne is a golden ambassador for the foundation. He organized a fundraising campain in 2019, but also helped the foundation getting known through his conferences about his long-distance hiking experiences. Each year, he’s also involved as a logistics volunteer on our Getaway Expeditions.